Called by Name

To discern the diocesan priesthood is to discern whether the Lord is calling you to a certain place. Religious priests can get assignments in a variety of locations based on where their order is serving.
For instance, a Jesuit might get assigned to teach at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, or at Jesuit High School in New Orleans. We have Franciscan priests serving in our diocese, and they could be called to serve in various other locations outside of our diocese, and the same could be said of the Sacred Heart Fathers that serve the Northwestern part of the diocese. But for the men who are discerning whether to enter the diocesan priesthood, they need to discern whether the Diocese of Jackson will be the place where they will give their life away to Jesus and His church.

Father Nick Adam

In order to help our seminarians get a ‘good look’ at our diocese, we’ve been making concerted efforts to assign them to parishes whenever they have extended breaks from their studies in New Orleans. I appreciate that the seminaries we use are very supportive of these efforts. This past Christmas break I had three of our seminarians staying with me at the Cathedral Rectory, and when the seminarians were off again earlier this month for Mardi Gras, Francisco Maldonado spent his five-day break back up here at the Cathedral. Over that weekend we visited a homebound parishioner, helped out at a Confirmation retreat, went to a Super Bowl party, and went to the movies, along with the weekend and weekday Mass schedule of course! It was a great picture for him of a priests’ day-to-day existence!

As I continue to learn how to be a better vocation director, I’ve started being more focused with our guys regarding the need to discern this place. During my time in seminary, I prayed long and hard regarding whether God was calling me to serve these people in this diocese. Knowing that I focused on that during my formation has helped me be more ‘all-in’ when it comes to my priestly ministry. As my assignments have changed and my responsibilities have increased, I can look back on my time in seminary as confirmation that the Lord called me to serve these people in this place, and so I need to do whatever it takes to serve them well.

Having seminarians around the parish is also just life-giving. There is something energizing about having men who are freshly on-fire for the Lord around. They have helped me rededicate myself to the ‘basics’ that I learned back in my days of seminary.

Thank you for your encouragement of our men while they spend time in parishes around the diocese.

Father Nick Adam, vocation director

(Father Nick Adam can be contacted at